Using an original source to be provided summarise and contextualise its impact on European political actors/outcomes in this period.
The following is an excerpt from Harold Macmillan’s diaries from 28 January 1963. Analyse Macmillan’s comments in the context of the time.
On the Brussels front everything has been reduced to chaos by the extraordinary behaviour of de Gaulle. He gave a “Press Conference” (with all the Corps Diplomatique present) to denounce Britain and oppose – in principle – her entry into the Common Market. Following the conference, which was in de Gaulle’s most majestic and “Louis Quatorze” style, the new “Goebbels” (M. Peyrefitte – Minister of Information) was putting round every kind of lie about us and about me. The reasons given for de Gaulle’s sudden decision (of which not even Couve de Murville had been informed) are so diverse as to be ridiculous.
The General’s démarche to the world was followed by Couve de Murville going to Brussels to demand that the negotiations must now stop. This caused anger (but, alas, impotent anger) among the Five, who are just beginning to realise the real inwardness of French policy. De Gaulle is trying to dominate Europe. His idea is not a partnership, but a Napoleonic or Louis XIV hegemony.
All these two weeks have been taken up with a vast amount of coming and going; meetings; telegrams, etc. Our Cabinet has been very good – quite firm and sensible. But it is a great blow to all our hopes. It is the end – or at least the temporary bar – to everything for which I have worked for many years. As far as internal politics are concerned, it is another blow.